Mill Creek Park board wrestles more power from executive director

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CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Another step was put in place to limit the power of Mill Creek Park’s executive director and create more checks and balances within the board.

Mill Creek MetroParks Commissioners will now have a say in who gets hunting and trapping permits. Until today’s meeting, Executive Director Aaron Young was the only one who issued the permits.

In June of 2014, a controlled kill of geese took place in Mill Creek Park — an effort to reduce the population. Then in March of 2016, an otter was found trapped on one of the MetroParks’ properties.

Both incidents outraged wildlife activists, leading to Monday night’s proposal by Park Commissioner Tom Shipka.

“If there were a waiver granted by the park, the board would be included,” he said.

The board voted unanimously to be included in any future hunting and trapping permits.

Shipka also reminded the board it could all change now that a new wildlife committee is in place.

“We may have to revisit this language and revise it based on the recommendations of the wildlife committee.”

The board also granted an exemption to MetroParks police officers who, on occasion, said they have to shoot rabid raccoons or put down deer hit by cars.

This was also the first meeting Lee Frey served as president of the Mill Creek MetroParks Board. Frey, who has been on the board for only eight months, will take over for John Ragan.

Fellow board member Germaine Bennett publicly thanked Ragan, saying he oversaw a tough time with large crowds at several meetings who objected to how the park was being run.

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